Dare to Compare: A Non-Comparative Look at The Royal Wedding

By Amelia Clements

Whether you are completely over it or can’t get enough of those royal re-runs, it seems there’s no avoiding ‘that wedding’. Some have called it a modern-day love story, some a fairy-tale come true and of course there are those who call it a big fat waste of money!

Whatever your opinion might be you can be sure it was in someway formed by your own experience of weddings. When it comes to watching two people vow to love each other for eternity, we all judge by what we’ve seen before and what we think the day should look like. I’m sure the queen had very different ideas to say little Eliza Lopes, the three-year-old bridesmaid who yawned her way into the Abbey.

Kate Middleton (The Duchess of Cambridge) was instantly and internationally compared to every other famous bride before her, from Princess Grace of Monaco (well she did ask for it in that dress), to Cinderella and naturally Williams own mother Lady Diana. Every detail was scrutinised live: as it was happening and that no doubt would have been on her mind.

It’s not just princesses however that get the royal once over.  I go to about five to ten weddings a year and I’ve never been to one without hearing whispers down the aisle about the dress or overheard comments about the food as I’ve stalk the closest waiter. It’s sort of a game we devise to fill in the time between bride sightings. You can be sure to hear all the single girls openly confessing that ‘it’s beautiful…but if it was my day’, while all the smug-married brides re-live their weddings through passionate retellings (I am very guilty here). In fact this whole scenario can be seen on The Lifestyle Channel’s ‘Four Weddings’ programme. Where four brides are pitted against each other as they attend, judge and score each other’s weddings out of ten, whilst swearing blind THEIR day is by far the best and will no doubt win.

I must say I had to physically stop myself comparing my day to every other (even though mine was like…the best by far). I knew I would drive myself crazy and not enjoy it for what it was. Comparisons only detract from what you’ve spent months creating, and this includes having too many pre-conceived expectations on yourself. You may not have two billion people watching your wedding, but unless you elope you will have some people around with an opinion or two (or six). My advice is simple, I think William Shakespeare captured it perfectly when he wrote ‘This above all: to thine own self be true…’. And maybe be a little kinder to the next bride, she may be attending your wedding soon enough.